Business Real Estate

UK property prices are on the up, but house sales remain stagnant

The price of the average UK property has gone up by 1.1% between September and October 2017- the highest monthly rise since 2014. But according to Belgravia estate agent, Best Gapp “Although this is good news for vendors, this isn’t translating into sales as yet.”

Recent figures from Rightmove have shown the average house price has risen by £3,432 to £313,435- that’s an increase of 1.4% in the last year. 104,000 new homes have gone up for sale since September, showing a rise of 3%, but the overall number of sales has actually dropped by almost 6% since September 2016.

It now takes an average of 63 days to put an average sized property up for sale and find a buyer in the UK, with the period extended to around 76 days for properties with five beds or more. In London, however, it takes longer- an average of 86 days between putting a home on the market and agreeing a sale.

“Sales of high end properties in London have dropped by 9%” say M&M Property, continuing, “Whilst there has still been a drop in other parts of the country, figures in the Capital are far more worrying than those elsewhere. The North, for example, is only seeing a three per cent drop right now.”

Property prices in London have always been higher, but that’s understandable when you consider the perks of living in one of the most cosmopolitan and desirable cities in the world. Unfortunately for the average prospective home buyer it’s now almost impossible to get a foot on the London property ladder without a significant deposit. With other cities further North being recently regenerated and offering just as much in terms of culture and employment opportunities, London is no longer quite as in demand as it once was.

The average wage in the UK is lagging behind the rate of retail inflation, and interest rates are also higher. It’s no surprise then that buyers are still on the lookout for the very best deals possible and many are steering clear of more high-end properties.

This, combined with changes to stamp duty on buy to let homes and the inevitable anxiety around Brexit, means that house hunters are being more frugal with their investments than ever. There’s also another interest rate hike due this month* which will further add to the problem.

Lawsons & Daughters concludes, “Property prices might be on the up but this doesn’t mean sellers are in a better position than they were this time last year. With an uncertain economy and the average wage comparatively low, it’s no wonder people are hanging onto their cash for longer before committing to buy.”

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